entry uploaded 06.11.09 - video uploaded 06.13.09
12:05 AM, Monday, June 8th, 2009:
En route to Mombasa
I wasn't completely unaware of the foolishness of this endeavor. I stood at the top of the stairs, holding an HD camera that was worth more than some a lot of these people make in a year. A lot more. But I really, really, really wanted a "Running in Nairobi" video so I could make a huge "World Tour" video next month. So I just figured I would run around the block. Before anyone could understand what I was doing, I'd be long gone.
...and then I got fucking lost. And I don't mean was on the wrong road, I mean I turned into 2 dead-ends and believe me, people noticed the only white man spinning around looking lost who just happened to be holding a camera in front of him. I finally did find my way, and now I'm safely on the bus to Mombasa. The video however is so interesting, it needs no music, no editing - you have to hear every sound, and if you can watch it in HD - you can actually see people turning their heads looking at me like I'm crazy...
 If your computer can handle it (meaning it doesn't stutter once it's loaded) click the "HD" button... incredible.
I mean, think about what I have to do to make the running videos. I hold the camera out as far as I can in front of me. Pretty universal sign for "Here, would you like this?" What an easy steal. And oh how I would've deserved it. Let's go to one of the poorest nations on the planet and run my ass around them with a camera they couldn't afford in their lifetimes.

And it's funny, at the start of the video? Some kids were laughing with me, a guy says "hi" and then you notice about halfway through that I'm getting different types of stares. Then it was just the mad-dash to get back to the apartment. You can even see me go "whew" at one point, and you'll notice a few times I bring the camera into me because I thought someone was gonna swipe it. Ugh. In the picture to the right, I'm realizing I'm lost. Priceless.

Now I have no way of knowing if the neighborhood that I'm in is good or bad, 'cause it's just hard to determine in a 3rd world country. But clearly, these people are very poor and seriously? I would've ripped me off. LOL. What a freaking dumbass I am.
The people we're staying with, Judy and Rumba, are absolutely awesome, welcoming and I would take them in any time they needed. They've bent over backwards to make us feel at home, help us get bus tickets, not get screwed over, show us around... and they're just so used to "the fight", you know? I mean my struggles are all self-made because I'm trying to make it in show-biz, and keep my house. Legitimate struggles, but I really am in a land of opportunity. They are not, and it doesn't even phase them. They just keep on rockin' it. Love that.

For example, there's a water shortage because of lack of rain. They only have running water Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. You make due by rationing water in big bins and basically sponge bathing. Then to boot, the electricity went out today (in the middle of trying to upload at the internet cafe of course) and you just feel like you're fighting a never-ending battle. It's like going up the down escalator just to start your day.

The strong survive though. And I totally respect what Judy & Rumba have overcome to get where they are. I hope to keep in touch with them the rest of my life.
I'm also hyper-aware that they are not poor. Worldwide standards? They're kickin' ass. It's only from an American point of view that we can act like this is some sort of unliveable situation. At no point do I think of them as needy - I think of them as strong. Listen, I haven't had a refrigerator for like 6 or 7 months now to save money on bills and if for some reason I only had water on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays - I would rock that shit. You should see how well I ration that water during the sponge bath. I've already figured out that you do the REALLY dirty places last 'cause by that point the water is already kinda dirty...I'm adaptable as a mofo. It's what The Journey is based on... even if it's something as superficial as "making it". Believe me, it's the same skill -- it's all relative to the challenge at hand.
Alright, I have no idea what Mombasa holds. I know Linda has a lead on a story and that we're spending a couple days in Malindi which is Beach Town, so I'll get to step foot in the Indian Ocean. That makes me very happy. As I've reiterated for several entries now, I'm having the time of my life. And the best part is that it only gets better once I get back to LA. My good fortune is so overwhelming I have to change thoughts in my head because it's too much to process. I mean, I got an email from Gary Grossman and while waiting for it to open (like 30-45 seconds after you click the email), my mind was racing with what could have gone wrong...
"You did great. Just great. More than just great. Really great. Really really great."
Still floatin' downstream. :-) Now I gotta shut off this laptop as I'm the freakin' brightest thing in this entire overnight bus. Oh and have I mentioned how ridiculous people drive here? They're ALWAYS in on-coming traffic trying to get around cars. It finally occured to me a few minutes ago that I'm on that bus. You know that bus crash you hear about that's so far-fucking away that it doesn't even register? Say, I don't know, a bus from Nairobi to Mombasa? And you're like - wow, 95 people dead - that sucks, but where the hell is Mombasa? Yeah, that's the bus I'm on. LOL. I'm never gonna bitch about traffic laws in the states again -- they do actually save lives...
...except the Camera Cops. That will always be wrong. See you in Mombasa.